Closing chapters

Well done you. You finished your exams, that stress ball is now digested and out of the system and you are ready to start your new beginnings. Or you are no longer a student and are like I once was; waiting for the New Years to apply any changes that you have already attempted in the previous five New Years.

It is time to really look after your mental well-being now that you have managed to push it to its brink with the last minute cramming sessions. End of year exams just equips you with a ball of stress that acts as a carry-on until it is time to graduate, at which point the knot finally loosens. We get stressed about the revision, the constant questioning of whether what you are cramming in is actually going to be in the exams, whether it is entering your brain at all because it most certainly doesn’t feel like it is and eventually just sitting it through and suffering through the remorse of not having done more, sooner (even if you did). When that climax passes, you will find yourself with a tonne of time for self-analysis as to what to do next.

There’s a good chance you took subjects or even degrees based on terrible reasoning, much like I did. You see, I was a humanities type of student, drawn to what many like to describe as ‘soft options’. That was all I knew about myself and by the time I cleared high school and browsing the web searching for what I could possibly study for the next 3 or 4 years of my life. I took a terrible route to figure that one out; I approached the dilemma by identifying what I definitely didn’t want to do (maths, physics, chemistry etc.) and went by what cropped out of that search. Then I decided to go with what sounded the coolest (I know). Not once did it occur to me to rearrange that question. What do I want to do? What do I want to become? What do I enjoy?

In a very strange turn, however, while my degree didn’t suck and I did well in it, it did lead me to discover my passions. Every year I was allowed to choose a totally random course to do along with all my core Criminology subjects. I always, without fail picked writing courses, whether that’d be ‘Journalism’, ‘Writing for the Media’ or ‘English literature’. Even then, however, I barely registered why it completely blew past me that I actually enjoyed it. All I knew was that I received good grades in English throughout my full-time education and it’d be a great way to earn some easy credits.

The point; ask yourself the big questions and more importantly; ask yourself the right questions. Leave plenty of room to make mistakes, forgive yourself when you do and take the lesson. Trial and error and relish the process and you will definitely hit a point at which you think ‘yeah, I can love this for a lifetime’. If ‘lifetime’ ends up being two years, hit the repeat – these journeys of self-discovery are a luxury available to you.

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